CSCCE Working Groups – new ways to work together in our emerging community of practice

In January’s Community Call we reviewed our plans for CSCCE’s programming for the first few months of 2020. In this post we recap our intentions to launch three initial working groups this month – as a precursor to creating the supporting structures for future working groups later this year.

Working together to advance our collective understanding of scientific community engagement. Image credit: CSCCE

Why working groups?

CSCCE provides training, programming, resources and research to support community managers in science – and organizations looking to nurture scientific communities. One of our core activities is to host a community of practice, where existing community managers can learn from one another and ask questions of a supportive group of like-minded peers.

In addition to our Slack channel and monthly community calls, we’re now offering community members the opportunity to work more closely together in a working group.

Working groups will allow us to continue to learn together in a more structured way, going deeper into a chosen topic with a focus on producing a particular output such as a code of conduct for our community.

What working groups are starting first?

We’re launching three working groups initially:

  • Code of Conduct working group – to create a code of conduct for the CSCCE community and discuss the ways in which we will enforce it.
  • Community Profiles working group – to contribute to the creation of a set of downloadable summary sheets describing different scientific communities and their programming.
  • Slack welcome team – to help to welcome new members to our Slack channel

You can read more about each on our CSCCE Working Groups page.

At this early stage, each group will focus on a specific, somewhat defined piece of work which will enable us to all to learn about the time commitments involved and the technical and communications support that the working groups need.

What we learn will inform the processes and supporting structures that we will provide as future groups launch. These might include:

  • Creating guidance documentation for new working groups
  • Setting up dedicated Slack channels for working groups
  • Making space for recaps from the working groups in the monthly newsletter
  • Creating periodic “reporting out” segments on the community calls

Why join a working group?

There are multiple reasons that you might want to join one of the initial working groups:

  • To contribute to a project that will help you to develop skills and/or knowledge that will be useful in your own role (such as how to create a code of conduct)
  • To share your experiences of building communities with others – and see how they compare
  • To get to know other members of the CSCCE community
  • To help to advance the field of scientific community engagement

If now isn’t a good time for you to join a group, don’t worry – we’ll be sharing future opportunities (and taking suggestions for topics) later this year.

How can I get involved now?

If you’re interested in joining one of the working groups described and haven’t already registered your interest, you can do so by sending an email to We’re happy to answer questions via email too.

If the community profiles working group is the one you’re most keen on contributing to, please try to attend the next Community Call on Wednesday February 19th at 2pm Eastern, where we’ll be introducing the project in more detail.